Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean DON'T DRINK THE WATER

1. Posted by cat.n. (Budding Member 32 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi there, just wondered if any one had any advice on water purification tablets? i've heard some can make you quite ill, i know every one is different but i thought i might be handy to compare some peoples experiences. THANKS :)
P.S all so any tips on what food to steer clear of would be much appreciated!! CAT x

2. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Look here. Depending where you go, bringing them won't hurt; however, sticking to bottled water when possible is much preferable.

3. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

NO icecubes in drinks !
NO icecream !
this are in my opinion the most dangeres things.


4. Posted by meeg (Budding Member 44 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Where are you travelling? Can´t speak for the Northern countries but everywhere I have been in Chile and Argentina the tap water is fine (if a little chlorine-flavoured in the capital cities and Rapa Nui) Water in the national parks of Patagonia and around Pucon is way better than most bottled water, just don´t drink it too close to the campsites as some people just don´t know how to camp! So far 5 weeks dysentery-free, but always ask the locals. Even different strains of E.coli from the ones you´re used to can cause a bit of upset sometimes, but i´ve been ok so far. But Chile and Argentina, not exactly the third world.;)

5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

NO ice cream !

It's foolish to think that Ice Cream is somehow dangerous to a person's health-that is abject nonsense!

IMO Life without Ice Cream is barely worth living!

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Unless you are planning on doing any camping, I see no reason to bring water purification tablets or any water purification system. Bottled water is available almost EVERYWHERE, and as long as the bottle seal isn't broken, fine to drink. I never had a problem getting bottled water.

(Of course, in today's new Green world, all those plastic bottles are bad for the environment, so I suppose that could be a reason to purify your own).

7. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi Cat,

I would say bring some along with you just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to use the.

I foolishly didnt use them when I was on the Inca Trail and I ended up in bed for nearly 3 weeks with typhoid which I wouldn't wish on anyone!!

Now, it may not necessarily have been the water, but that was most likely the cause of it.

So, even if the tablets themselves make you a little nauseous or something they are still worth having.

As other people pointed out, you will really only need them in situations where you cant buy bottled water. ;)

Happy travels :)

8. Posted by meeg (Budding Member 44 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I´m walking the Inca trail next week, so just have one question for samsara - were you vaccinated for typhoid? Doesn´t sound like fun. And are there many places along the way to get water in which I can put my water purification tablets? Ok, 2 questions....

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi Meeg,

Yeah I was vaccinated. The doctor said that if I hadn't been vaccinated the situation would have been a lot worse and I would have had to be hospitalized. So, it's still worth getting vaccinations.

I was just very unlucky. Your chances of getting it are very slim as long as you take the proper precautions about water (even fresh water that high up); be obsessional about your personal hygiene; and don't eat too many eggs (yep, believe it or not, that may have been the cause too).

Along the first leg of the climb on the first day you can buy some water, but after that you will have to get it from the tourguides. They will boil it for you at camp, and i advise popping in your purification tabs even though it's boiled. Dont worry about carrying lots and lots of water with you. Bring a large bottle for the first day. In Ollyantaytambo or Cuzco, look out for these little fabric water holders that go around your neck. You can get big ones to hold large bottles or smaller ones. They cost nothing but are a great way of lugging your water up with you.

Hope that helps

10. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I brought some Aquatabs with me but haven´t used them as yet (dont take up much space and its better to have them and not need them;)).
Also most of the touristy places that i have been so far like Lima and Cusco (Machhu Picchu etc) all use bought in ice that has been filtered already. I have been taking ice in my drinks, eating ice cream and eating local fish dishes with no problems at all (touch wood).